Research on the Signal Effect of Performance Compensation Commitment on the Impairment of Goodwill in China
Keywords:Performance compensation commitment, Goodwill impairment, Agency motivations, Fair-value accounting, Earnings management
This study using empirical research method and taking 1233 samples of A-share listed companies in China that completed major asset restructuring from 2007 to 2017, examines the signal effect of performance compensation commitment on goodwill impairment, and the impact of agency motivations on the signal effect based on the proportion of the performance compensation commitment that M&A targets achieve. I find evidence suggesting that the higher the proportion of the unfulfilled performance compensation commitment is, the higher the probability of goodwill impairment and the greater the amount of goodwill impairment. In addition, agency motivations affect the signal effect of performance compensation commitment on the impairment of goodwill. Specifically, for companies facing market return pressure and debt contracting pressure, the signal effect of the performance compensation commitment on the impairment of goodwill will be weakened. Furthermore, companies with performance loss have the incentive to use goodwill impairment to carry out a “big bath” and the loss motivation will lead to the overexpression of the signal effect of performance compensation commitment on goodwill impairment. The findings of this paper provide a new perspective for external users of financial statements to observe goodwill impairment and help them better understand managers’ opportunistic motivations to accrue goodwill impairment.